Barry Rosenstein and his event-driven, activist hedge fund JANA Partners haven’t had it easy over the past few years. The fund’s assets under management were slashed by more than 50% between August 2015 and December 2017, falling to just $4.6 billion from $11 billion during that time as the fund’s performance lagged the market.
According to JANA’s Q4 2017 investor letter, the JANA Master Fund posted 5.6% gains in 2017, widely trailing the market, while it managed just 2.3% returns in 2016. JANA has scored some wins in 2018, including an estimated $144 million windfall from its stake in Pinnacle Foods, which was sold to Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) in June. However, the year is ending on a sour note, with 6.3% losses in October representing the fund’s worst month in a decade.
Redemptions and underperformance have cost not only JANA, but Rosenstein himself, whose own fortunes have suffered alongside those of his fund. The former billionaire, who was credited with having a net worth of $1.3 billion several years ago, is no longer listed on Forbes’ real time ranking of the world’s billionaires.
JANA Partners’ 13F portfolio contained 53 holdings on September 30, which were valued at $3.29 billion. That figure was down by $485 million quarter-over-quarter and a mere fraction of its peak value of $19.31 billion from four years earlier. JANA Partners increased its exposure to consumer staples (30.99% weighting) and healthcare (21.39%) stocks during Q3, while lowering its exposure to tech (16.47%) and communications (3.88%) stocks.
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On the next page we’ll check out four stocks that JANA Partners was bullish on in Q3, and one very popular stock which it sold out of.